Design hotels

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MrMichael 29 Aug 2014
at 21:57

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  • Anonymous

    Clement Huang

    Hello readers,

    Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will be publishing an article about design hotels for the October 2014 issue, and would like to get you to share your thoughts on this niche but growing hotel concept.

    What do you think is a design hotel, and would any of you consider staying in one for a business trip?


    I look for comfort, location, amenities such ad swimming pool and outside bar / dining area.

    If a design hotel can offer all that with a good rate, then yes, I’d be happy to stay. Unfortunately my experience has been they rarely do tick all the boxes and are more of a place to be seen than providing a business / leisure stay.


    Many hotels describe themselves as Boutique, or with a unique theme or design.
    I do choose depending on the People i meet, hotels for Business and leisure, with a Unique element to them, or theme, or something innovative, or new. Some you see from the outside as having an amazing Wow factor in external building or design. This can be seen with individual hotels, or starters which form a small group. Neither do i think they need to be expensive. They make you smile and leave a memorable visit, but the working of the hotel, must still include the efficiency, welcome, with a degree of informality. The designs need to reflect this, in the philosophy of the Hotel management style, and carried through by the staff. the design is not just in the outside or inside structures, but how the staff carry the design through their work. Without this, we would stay and not remember it, design hotel, or not.

    Whatever the design, it also needs to embrace and have modern technology integrated, more vital for our travels today
    In terms of design hotel, i think this is what I expect.

    The Muse Hotel in Bangkok…

    The MGallery collections of the Accor group i think reflect a unique culture in where they are located, with a historical link.

    With a 19th C theme, this was an amazing hotel, having won many awards in Europe, and especially for its roof top bar which was listed as one of the best in Asia. It featured a retro theme as soon as you entered, with objects used for travel, suitcases,posters, images of sea, road, asian and world travels. Dining was the same, with opera sang around the tables in a restaurant with a great Italian chef.
    Rooms continued the theme, with Victorian style bathrooms, and we were upgraded with the Platinum Accor card, to a split level Suite.
    The rooftop bar, had a cigar smoking area and remained with generous cocktails , with great views of the city also.

    For Business or leisure with a treat, this is truly unique.

    Equally i think as it started, Citizen M hotels were design hotels, unique and with a few more now, well established and popular. Generally built in shipping containers, and built pre set on site, and areas around created. the first was at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, and has various ground floor themed rooms where travellers of business tend to travel to meet. A cafe that transforms to a bar in the evening and breakfast bar in the mornings, has unique offerings for guests. self check in also, and the rooms are quite compact , but very pleasant and workable, maximising space and the needs of all travellers.

    I would call this a Design hotel. just as equally, i would describe the Yotel as clever and convenient, allowing stays of a few hrs or overnight at airports. The smaller cabins are like being on board a train or ship, with your own shower and clever Tv system with wi fi.

    Both these hotels are cost effective.

    Currently in The Gulf, you could also describe The Jumeirah at Etihad Towers abu Dhabi, as stunning and unique in its design worldwide.

    This has a “Wow” factor as you begin to see it from outside, unique and a lot of investment clearly, typical of The Middle East.

    The design has to work from the outside, location, facilities, rooms and use of well thought out colours, philosophy, and many use psychological advice when putting the design together, so that the building design integrates with those people who are staying there, and those that work there. Clearly, it has to be a good business model that works, and makes profit, as any other Business.

    I hope this is helpful with a few examples included.


    From my perspective – Design Hotels; Designer Hotels; Boutique Hotels are synonymous.

    This BT thread is 3 years old however I believe most of the comments still hold true.

    – Fairly small – upto 50 rooms.
    – Maybe a one-off or part of a small group but not part of an extensive chain.
    – Individually styled rooms though having a consistent high quality.
    – More personal and couple orientated as opposed to businessmen though will have many of the facilities a business person needs.


    Must admit not a big fan of individual hotels. Perhaps I am odd, but when away from home prefer the reliability of the corporate giant such as Marriott & Hilton. The smaller “boutique” hotels I have stayed have more often than not be quirky rather than offering the services I want and expect.

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